It’s funny how sometimes inanimate objects can pull on your
heart strings. I was making a raspberry lemon loaf the other day (which I will
post about soon) but it called for a rectangle pan that I didn’t have so I used
a circular cake pan instead. I was telling my Mom about this when she went to her
cupboard and grabbed a rectangular glass pan she wasn’t using. She told me it
was my Grandmother’s and that she had two so I could have one. The glass pan
had had years of use I could tell by its discolouration. It would never look
new again, but somehow seeing its many baking days etched into the pan made it
that much more special for me. It was like I had a piece of my Grandmother’s
life in my hand and I could picture her baking in the kitchen with my mom and
aunts. I never had the opportunity to meet my Grandmother because she died when
my mother was young but my mom talked about her often growing up so even though
I didn’t meet her, I still feel like I am connected to her. She was an amazing
woman and from time to time I see bits and pieces of what she must have been
like in my aunts and my mom. It’s now my favourite dish in the kitchen and when I
bake with it I picture that she’s baking with me. I wonder what tips and tricks
she would have to tell me?
I’ve made Butternut
Squash Soup many times, but never has it been this eventful. Today, I had a friend
over for dinner and we decided on Butternut Squash Soup, salad and garlic bread.
We were chatting away while the Butternut Squash roasted in the oven so it
would be soft enough to add to my pot of tender onions and garlic that were
simmering in a glorious dollop of butter.
Everything was going fabulously until I heard my friend say
“I just saw a mouse on your counter.”
Thinking I must be hearing
things, I promptly said
“Did you just say you saw a mouse?”
Not thinking much
of it because I was expecting the answer to be something else, I was
mistaken when she said
“Yes!" and then jumped to a standing position on her
I have known her for a long time, but never had we discussed her fear
of mice. Panic set in, I had food out on the counter, a mouse nearby and a
friend now clearly uncomfortable in the upright position. I don't want to say I'm afraid of mice, but my reaction everytime I see them would clearly suggest I am. I have a hard time admitting that something so small and cute could actually scare me. But I guess they do because my husband rescues me everytime I see one. They are erratic and fast and that just doesn't sit well with me. Maybe if I was Cinderella and the mouse made me a very stylish dress I would change my mind, but until then I'm not a fan.
Mr. Mouse, when you tailor this dress for me then we will discuss permanent residency.
We live in
the country, so from time to time I have seen them. But normally it’s when my
cat has caught one and decided to show me, not when one is brazen enough to run
across the counter. I thought mice were a) Nocturnal and b) Afraid to be out
when there were people loudly talking, a 90lb lab walking around and a skilled hunter cat constantly scanning the premises. The mouse was clearly unaware of the rules to abide by when co-habiting in a humans dwelling.
This mouse had to be stopped or we were going out for dinner
until my husband came home from work. We devised a
plan. I equipped myself with the necessary tools or better word “available”
tools for the job- 2 oven mitts and a plastic container. We kept an eye on him
as he ran back and forth trying to figure out where to go and then we lost
sight of him. The bugger was quick. We decided the best course of action
would be to remove everything off of the end of the counter where he had been
seen running because then he wouldn’t have anywhere to hide.
Cost effective hazmat suit. Unorthodox, but effective.
When he jumped
out I would put him in the dish and take him outside. Slowly I started moving
each item off of the counter. All that was left was the microwave and it was
clear he wasn’t there because I slid it all around and there was no sight of
him. Then we were perplexed, how did he get away? There was a small opening on
my wall so we eased our minds by saying he must have gotten through there and
We both heard that mice can get through very small spaces so that had
to be it. Grossed out by it running across my counter I disinfected it all and
then started back to dinner. The Butternut Squash Soup smelled delicious and
the fresh smell of garlic bread was wafting through the kitchen. I started on
the salad as my friend went back to a sitting position and that's when it happened again. Back up on the chair my friend squealed
“The mouse is back!”
I was so confused because
where was he coming from? That’s when we realized my dish rack was at the end of the counter and he must have somehow jetted that way when we were busy squinting
and squealing. So the oven mitts were back on and I was ready to end this. My friend suggested I use the salad bag I had just emptied and catch him in
that. I thought it was a good idea but didn’t know if he would willingly run
into it. He kept scooting back and forth on the counter but because everything
was off it on one side except my microwave, he had very little place to hide. So
when he ran towards the microwave I knew we had a good chance at catching him
because the distance to get back to my dish rack was so far that I could throw
a towel on him if I had to, to slow him down. I needed a distraction though so
I amped up his need for survival by putting my cat up on the counter. I had the salad bag open on the counter as an extra obstacle.
oven mitt hands, cat intrigued at its purpose to be up there, I shook the
microwave and watched the mouse spring out from under and dodge my cat only to
run directly into the salad bag. Stunned by the fact that it had hit a plastic
wall and my cat becoming overtly aware of its purpose the mouse had nowhere to
go but into the mouth of my cat. I threw my hands over the opening of the bag
and closed it up so he couldn’t escape. I jumped so quickly towards the counter
in excitement that my foot got a massive cramp in it. Laughing by how
ridiculous I looked but cheering in relief that we caught him without my strong
husband, I hobbled to my friend to show her he was good and secure in the salad
bag. I opened my front door and put him outside, salad bag and all.
With the counter officially
mouse-free I finished preparing the rest of the soup and sat down for a
very triumphant meal. I don’t think I’ll ever look at bagged salad the same way again.
I don’t often make pasta salads but liked the idea of being able to incorporate
asparagus into my lunch. It is a fresh tasting salad and it brought back
memories of time at the cottage in the summer. Ah, how I wish winter was over.
But until then I’ll just keep making recipes that remind me of that warm, fun
time in anticipation of the coming spring and summer this year. It took me 30
minutes to make and I know I could cut that time down easily once I’m more
familiar with the recipe! I’m already looking forward to my lunch tomorrow when
I pair it with grilled chicken- yummy!
As far as I’m
concerned, I grew up eating the best spaghetti sauce there is available. I’m so
convinced of this that I won’t order spaghetti when I go to restaurants because
I think it will just be an epic disappointment in comparison to my Dad’s
spaghetti sauce. So I might be a little biased, but it’s so good! And it
freezes extremely well so you can make it ahead which is just another perk to
this perfected recipe.
I have had
many family gatherings eating this delicious meal and it reminds me of being at
home when I was younger. So many memories gathered around the table enjoying
great food and happy stories. When I was a child, I didn’t appreciate it
because it was so readily available. But when I went to college and moved out
on my own that’s when I realized how lucky I was to have so many hearty, home
cooked meals. To this day my Mom and Dad only have to call us and say they are making
Dad’s spaghetti sauce for supper and we all “magically” appear at their
doorstep for dinner.
I hope you
enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
4 lbs medium
celery chopped 2-green or
red peppers chopped 2 lbs sliced
mushrooms 1-clove of
Put in large
pot and cook above ingredients on medium heat until cooked.
Then add the
following and simmer for 4 hours: 4-28fl.oz. cans
of diced tomatoes 2- small
cans of tomato paste 2 tbsp
crushed chilli pepper flakes 2 tsp garlic
salt ½ tsp black
There isn’t anything negative to say about this recipe because it is delicious, simple and perfect. I had no
trouble at all making it and I was surprised at how flavourful it was.I will definitely be making this again...and again...and again.
doable weeknight meal because it doesn’t take very long to make and I like
that it has all the food groups included so you don’t really need anything else
to go with it. I ate one pepper and felt sufficiently full. That means a lot
coming from a pregnant lady!
If I had
to choose something to go with it, I would have added homemade bread. My
sister-in-law Tasha came across a great recipe for homemade bread so maybe next
time I make stuffed peppers I’ll tackle the challenge of that too!
I’m beginning to see that cooking is not so far out of my element and I’m getting more and more comfortable trying new recipes.
I have been
pretty relaxed with my meal planning recently because I’ve been on holidays for
2 weeks. I was home so I could decide on a whim what I wanted to cook without
having to do much preparation in advance.
But with heading
back to work, I knew I had to get back on track so that I wouldn’t be running
for the closest drive-thru when my tummy started to grumble. These days it
seems I need to eat something every 2 hours to keep the baby and me happy. But,
I love food so it far from breaks my heart. However, hoping to only gain baby
weight and not just “I’m eating for two weight” I knew a plan was in order. I always aim to make extra of whatever I'm making for supper so I have leftovers for work the next day. With the limits of not being able to have cold meat when pregnant, I quickly ran out of lunch options. Plus, I enjoy having a hot meal at lunch so really it's win-win. I'm saving myself the work of planning a supper and lunch by repeating the same meal the following day.
perusing Pinterest (if you haven’t already checked this site out, I suggest you
stop what you are doing right now and go to this site! It’s fantastic and has
so many great ideas!) Anyways, I came across a recipe for a Healthier version
of General Tso’s Chicken and knew immediately that I had to make it. Luckily, I
had everything at home already, so I didn’t have to trek out on the snowy day
to get ingredients. If I get something in
my head that I want there’s very little I can do to steer it back into any
other direction. We’ll blame the pregnancy for my current craving motivations.
was so easy and I would have never thought that this was something I could make.
I will definitely be making this again.
am more of a spice then ginger sorta girl, so I would opt to add more chilli flakes
and less ginger next time to give it more zing. I also added orange pepper
chunks and think next time I will also add broccoli. I like a lot of vegetables
so it’s a good way to add some extra into your meals without compensating on
Gingerbread cookies are one of my favourite types of cookies.
So, when I had a Christmas Baking day in December with my Mom and Sister-in-Law
Tash that was my cookie of choice to make.
The recipe was super easy, but my suggestion would be to add
more spice, because I felt the cookie was pretty mellow. I opted not to use
cloves so I should have added more cinnamon or ginger to balance out the spice
The thing with Gingerbread is it has to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours so that you can roll it because it gets soft very easily, so it’s not something you can just whip up. But with a little bit of planning, these cookies can easily make it to the dessert table. They are fun to decorate too!
I’ve always been a bigger fan of baking then cooking, which makes sense why I’m more skilled at it because I took an interest in baking when I was little.
Tash opted to make Toblerone Shortbread Cookies and they are
delicious and super fast to make! If you’re watching your weight, avoid looking
at the calorie count on these puppies because they’re basically butter, sugar
and chocolate. But it was a Christmas treat, so we indulged!